Some of our favourite things

It’s probably not new’s to anyone that we are really loving our time here in Nelson. It’s hard to say what it is that is so great about it because it really does have a lot to offer. One of the really fun things to do in the city is take in the markets. They have a farmers market on a Wednesday and markets right in the heart of the city on a saturday and sunday. The area grows a lot of great produce and has a plethora of little local producers of boutique products. We have enjoyed a few visits to the markets as well as keeping our eye out for locally made products when we are shopping. It feels like another way to explore the area we are in and so far has proven to be a tasty way as well. So I thought I would do a little round up of some of our favourite finds so far.

  1. The left branch cidery – Made in a little town called Riwaka from locally picked apples. We stumbled on this at a campground the day we finished our Abel Tasman walk, it was a welcome way to finish our day. Only stocked at a few local places we have hunted it out a few times and so far sampled the apple & ginger, blackcurrant and strawberry. The apple and ginger is my stand out favourite.edf
  2. The smokehouse, smoked fish – We found this in the little seaside town of Mapua. Situated right next to the wharf I couldn’t think of a more perfect place to sell a really impressive range of smoked fish. We tried the smoked tarakihi and smoked mackeral which was Cajun lime flavour. They also sold smoked fish pates which we didn’t sample but they looked amazing!edf
  3. Rabbit Island Coffee – I tried this coffee in Mapua not realising that it is a local product until I had gotten half way through my take away coffee and enjoyed it so much that I read the logo and wondered if since it was named after the nearby Rabbit Island it might perhaps be a local product. It was seriously one of the nicest coffees I have ever had (and I’ve had a few!).
  4. Amazing locally made cheese – now I just can’t choose one here. We have brought some locally made, specialty cheese a few times at the markets and it has all been amazing. And if you are going to splurge a little on a nice cheese the best place to shop is the markets where you can sample before you buy.
  5. Lowes Orchard Apple Juice – Another find from the farmers market and this one is Oliver’s pick for the favourites list. With a ingredients list with only two item’s on it and an amazing flavour this is a great treat. They also sell a great range of apples which were pretty tasty as well.

Our favourite places in Nelson

Since we are spending quite a bit of time in the one spot I thought I would do a little round up of the best things we have found to do in Nelson. Bear in mind these all have to be child friendly, I am sure there is another perhaps more sophisticated side to Nelson that is just not ready to have a five year old unleashed on it. They are not in any particular order, I find it hard to pick just one favourite in any part of my life.

  • Tahunanui Beach – This spot makes it very easy to fill a day. The beach is beautiful and with views of the mountains as you take your beach side stroll it’s just that little bit special. Tahunanui also boasts a large and varied playground. With a nature park, miniature train track, beach side cafe, even a library, this is the perfect place to hang out with your little ones.DSC06097
  • Explore the markets – Nelson has so many markets and we have explored a few in our time here. I love a good market so have really enjoyed this side of Nelson’s culture. The weekend markets in the city are amazing and we also really liked a market that we went to in Isel Park. But I think you could pick any one and find something great to come away with.
  • Taste of Nelson cycle trail – The place we have been based at in Richmond backs on to part of this track so we have spent a bit of time on it. We in particular enjoy the sections that follow the water, makes for interesting (and flat!) riding.
  • Rabbit Island – Just a short drive from Richmond is Rabbit Island. Another great spot for a stroll on the beach, or a ride/walk through the pine forest. There are plenty of picnic facilities out here and I imagine it’s a busy place in summer.
  • Matai Valley – Tucked up in the hills the Matai Valley has a bunch of cycle trails and walking tracks. Lot’s of opportunity’s to picnic and enjoy the outdoors.sdrcof
  • Kina Beach –  One of the best spot’s we have camped at so far. Literally beach front parking, $5 a night per person to stay and miles of rocky beach to explore at low tide. And if you strike better weather than we did you might try out the outdoor bath tub that you can light a fire under for a lovely warm soak. It’s also a short drive from here to Mapua, a charming little waterside town with a handful of interesting shops and eatery’s.DSC07345DSC07365
  • Founders Heritage Park – We went here one saturday lured with the promise of a train ride. But we found enough to fill most of our day. There are rail car rides on Saturday’s, displays of old fire engines, buses and even a huge old plane that was used to carry mail across the cook strait, as well as an array of displays on Nelson’s history. Next door is a japanese garden’s and it is close to a well paved, very scenic part of cycle trail.